HB189: Child-placing agency; shall not be required to participate in placement of child for foster care.


HOUSE BILL NO. 189
AMENDMENT IN THE NATURE OF A SUBSTITUTE
(Proposed by the House Committee on Health, Welfare and Institutions
on January 31, 2012)
(Patron Prior to Substitute--Delegate Gilbert)
A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 63.2-1709.3, relating to child-placing agencies; conscience clause.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1.  That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding a section numbered 63.2-1709.3 as follows:

§ 63.2-1709.3. Child-placing agencies; conscience clause.

A. To the extent allowed by federal law, no private child-placing agency shall be required to perform, assist, counsel, recommend, consent to, refer, or participate in any placement of a child for foster care or adoption when the proposed placement would violate the agency's written religious or moral convictions or policies.

B. The Commissioner shall not deny an application for an initial license or renewal of a license or revoke the license of a private child-placing agency because of the agency's objection to performing, assisting, counseling, recommending, consenting to, referring, or participating in a placement that violates the agency's written religious or moral convictions or policies.

C. A state or local government entity may not deny a private child-placing agency any grant, contract, or participation in a government program because of the agency's objection to performing, assisting, counseling, recommending, consenting to, referring, or participating in a placement that violates the agency's written religious or moral convictions or policies.

D. Refusal of a private child-placing agency to perform, assist, counsel, recommend, consent to, refer, or participate in a placement that violates the agency's written religious or moral convictions or policies shall not form the basis of any claim for damages.

HOUSE BILL NO. 189
Offered January 11, 2012
Prefiled January 9, 2012
A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 63.2-1709.3, relating to child-placing agencies; conscience clause.
Patron-- Gilbert

Committee Referral Pending

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1.  That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding a section numbered 63.2-1709.3 as follows:

§ 63.2-1709.3. Child-placing agencies; conscience clause.

No private child-placing agency shall be required to consider or consent to any placement of a child for foster care or adoption when the proposed placement would conflict with the religious tenets of any sponsor of the agency or other organization or institution with which the child-placing agency is affiliated or associated. The Commissioner shall not deny an application for an initial license or renewal of a license or revoke the license of a private child-placing agency solely on the grounds that the agency has refused to consider or consent to any placement of a child for foster care or adoption in such cases. Refusal of a private child-placing agency to consider or consent to any placement of a child pursuant to this section shall not form the basis of any claim for damages.

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